Krummacher, Friedrich Wilhelm
Krummacher, Friedrich Wilhelm one of Germany's most eloquent preachers in this century, and the most distinguished of a distinguished family, was the son of Friedrich Adolph Krummacher (q.v.), and was born at Mors, on the Rhine, January 28, 1796. After preparation partly at the Gymnasium and partly under his own father, he entered Halle University in the winter semester of 1815-16, and there enjoyed the instructions of Niemeyer, Wegscheider, Gesenius, Marx, De Wette, and "the elder Knapp," for whom young Krummacher early cherished great affection. Two years later he removed to Jena, drawn thither by the celebrated philosopher Fries. and the theologian Schott. the wellknown editor of a revised edition of the text of the New Testament. To an American student of theology this period of F. W. Krummacher's life presents many points of special interest. He had left Halle for Jena determined to sit at the feet of Schott and other celebrated theologians, but so disappointed was he that he is led to exclaim (in his Autobiography, p. 77), "Nothing remained for me but to seek refuge from this spiritual famine in reading," and, instead of attending faithfully the lectures of his professors, he found it more to his soul's interest to devote his time to the reading of Herder's Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, his father's Spirit tined Form of the Gospels, Kleuker's apologetical writings, and other books of this class. His first appointment as preacher he found, in the beginning of 1819, at Frankfort-on-the-Main, as assistant to a German Reformed congregation. In 1823 he removed to the village of Ruhrort, on the Rhine, near Dusseldorf, and two years later to Gemarke, a parish in the town of Barmen: and in 1831 he accepted a repeated call to the city of Elberfeldt. During his residence there a call came to him from the Pennsylvania Synod of the Reformed Germana Church to come to the United States and fill a professor's chair in their theological school at Mercersburg, Penn., a position which he declined in favor of the celebrated Church historian Philip Schaff, D.D., now professor in the Union Theological Seminary at New York city. In 1847 he was promoted by the king of Prussia, Frederick William IV, to the pastorate of Trinity Church, Berlin, as successor of the renowned pulpit orator Marheinecke, who had died in 1846, and he promptly accepted the place. About two years later he became court preacher at Potsdam, the usual summer residence of the Prussian kings, and he died there Dec. 19, 1868. Krummacher was honored with the doctorate of divinity by the University of Berlin. He was an active worker in behalf of the Evangelical Alliance, and attended all its meetings as long as he lived. Dr. Krummacher acquired a world-wide celebrity by his devotional writings, of which the most important are Elias der Thisbiter (Elberf. 1828; 5th edit. 1860; transl. into English and extensively circulated both in England and in this country): — Saleomo und Sulamith (ibid. 3d ed. 1830; 7th ed. 1855):-Die Sabbath Glocke, a series of sermons (Berl. 1848 sq., 12 vols. 8vo): — Der leidende Christus (Bielef. 1854, and often; transl. into Engl. in Clark's Library): -and last, but hardly least, David, der Konig von Israel (Berl. 1866, 8vo; transl. into English and published by Clark of Edinb. and Harpers of N.Y. 1870, 12mo).
Like his father and uncle, Dr. Krummacher was one of the few bold and uncompromising witnesses of evangelical truth of which Germany can boast. Dr. Schaff, who of all men this side the Atlantic is perhaps best entitled to a comment on the life and labors of this celebrated German preacher, speaks of him as follows: " Krummacher was endowed with every gift that constitutes an orator, a most fertile and brilliant imagination, a vigorous and original mind, a glowing heart, an extraordinary facility and felicity of diction, perfect familiarity with the Scriptures, an athletic and commanding presence, and a powerful and melodious voice, which, however, in latter years underwent a great change, and sounded like the rolling of the distant thunder or like the trumpet of the last judgment. This splendid outfit of nature, which attracted even theatrical actors and mere worshippers of genius to his sermons, was sanctified by divine grace, and always uncompromisingly devoted to the defence of scriptural truth. He was full of the fire of faith and the Holy Ghost. In the pulpit he was as bold and fearless as a lion, at home as gentle and amiable as a lamb. Like all truly great men, he had a childlike disposition.... He was a millionaire in images and illustrations. There is an enmbarras de richesse in hia sermons, even more than those in Jeremy Taylor. The imaginative is too predominant for simple and severe taste; but with all their defects they will live as long as sermons are read for private devotion and as models for cultivating a higher style of pulpit eloquence. The name of their author will always shine as one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of those great and good men who, in the present century, have fought the good fight of the evangelical faith against prevailing Rationalism and infidelity, and have entitled themselves to the gratitude of the present and future generations" (The Observer, N. Y. Feb. 4,1869). His Autobiography, left ill MS. form, was published after his death by his family, and has been translated into English by the Rev. MI. . Easton (Edinb. and N.Y. 1869, 8vo). See a very pleasant short sketch by professor C. W. Bennett, in the 1V. Y. Christian Advocate, Feb. 11, 1869; and Meth. Quar. Review, 1869, p. 142, 441; 1870, p. 161 sq.; British and For. Ev. Rev. lxix, 628; Amer. Presb. Rev. 1869, p. 776; Evang. Quar. Rev. 1870, p. 149; Princeton Rev. 1870, p. 156. (J. H. W.)